Don’t Let Myths InFLUence Your Decision to Get the Vaccine

Most of us will know what it looks like, what it feels like, but what exactly is the flu virus anyway? What does it do to our bodies and how does the vaccine help? Most everybody has some kind of personal experience with the flu virus; whether it is a family member that has been sick, a child, a parent, or themselves. Let’s take a second to learn about this stubborn virus that continues to spread.

What is it?

The flu is a contagious upper respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It affects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. The symptoms can range from mild to severe. To people with weakened immune systems or other conditions, it can even lead to death. The virus is likely to spread through the air, via little droplets formed when infected people cough or sneeze and it is inhaled. The most common symptoms will include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

How the Vaccine Works

Every year the strain of the flu changes. The virus is altered every year and that’s why every year the flu season is different. According to the CDC however, thousands of people die from the flu every year. Getting an annual vaccine helps reduce the risk of illnesses and hospitalizations.

The vaccines prompt the bodies to produce antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after the vaccine. This is triggering your body’s immune system to respond and recognize the virus as a foreign invader that is not welcome.  These antibodies then provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccines. So the antibodies are effectively a type of tool that helps your body fight an infection that is wanting to invade your body.

Common Myths

Like many things revolving around health, misinformation and myth can spread quickly and lead people to get the wrong idea about certain things that can actually be beneficial for their health.

The vaccine causes you to get sick. This is a common mantra often repeated, but the truth is that it takes the vaccine about two weeks to kick in and so people that get sick immediately after the shot, were bound to get sick anyway or had already caught the virus.

If I’m healthy, I don’t need it. While people that have weakened immune systems are far more vulnerable and those with chronic illnesses are much more at risk, healthy people will also greatly benefit from the yearly vaccine.

Chicken soup will speed your recovery. While chicken soup is food for the soul and can help soothe you and feel better momentarily, there is no indication that the soup is actually curing your illness. It’s still a great food to eat, so keep eating the soup!

Trust Your Local Family Clinic

Family medicine is as important as ever. It is important for you to talk with your doctors about the benefits and side effects of any vaccines and make sure you report any illnesses or conditions. New Light Primary Care is here to ensure that the El Paso community thrives and lives out their potential by being healthy and strong.

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